Millionaire developer Charles Kushner, already beset by lawsuits from his brother and former bookkeeper, is now headed for a public showdown with a powerful state senator who says Kushner "has some explaining to do" if he wants to become chairman of the Port Authority.
William Gormley, the Republican co-chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee, said Friday he
will seek to subpoena Kushner
does not agree to appear before the 10-member panel and address allegations in two recent lawsuits.
Gormley, of Atlantic County, said he
will also ask acting Attorney General Peter C. Harvey to independently review the allegations.Kushner
, Governor McGreevey's top campaign contributor, is accused of illegally siphoning millions from his
business partners and tenants to enrich himself and make contributions to his
favorite Democratic politicians.Kushner
, who is McGreevey's choice to head the Port Authority
of New York and New Jersey when the position opens in April, denies any wrongdoing and says the allegations stem from a family feud with jealous siblings.Earlier this week, the U.S. attorney in Newark issued subpoenas seeking evidence that is part of a sealed Superior Court proceeding involving the Kushners.
"This has clearly reached a whole new stage now.I think Mr. Kushner
has some explaining to do," Gormley said.
is a public figure and the future of the Port Authority
is very much a public issue.We have every right to ask him questions."
The governor's office shrugged off Gormley's concerns and expressed McGreevey's
support for Kushner
."Make no mistake, Charles Kushner will be the next chairman of the Port Authority," said Micah Rasmussen, McGreevey's press secretary.
Neither the nature of Harvey's review nor his
specific findings were made public, although the Attorney General's Office issued a brief statement saying there was nothing in the lawsuits that would bar Kushner
Democratic and Republican sources close to the Judiciary Committee
later called Harvey's review "a joke" and said it consisted of nothing more than a chat with Kushner
Some members of the committee, which voted unanimously to confirm Kushner
, never knew there was an inquiry, the sources said.